Édgar Ramírez Soccer Thriller ‘Arenas’ Boarded by Memento International (EXCLUSIVE)

Édgar Ramírez Soccer Thriller ‘Arenas’ Boarded by Memento International (EXCLUSIVE)

Movies, News

Memento International has boarded “Arenas,” Camille Perton’s feature debut set in the world of professional soccer, starring Édgar Ramírez (“Carlos”), Iliès Kadri (“Nobody’s Hero”), Sofian Khammes (“November”) and Lorenzo Zurzolo (“EO”).

Now in post-production, the film shot across Lyon, Monaco, Nice and Baku in Azerbaijan. Memento International will kick off sales at the Unifrance Rendez-Vous showcase in Paris next week.

The film follows Brahim, a rising soccer star who is about to sign his first contract at his prestigious hometown club. But when a mysterious and powerful agent disrupts the negotiations, Brahim discovers the shady side of the business. Torn between loyalty and money, he will engage in a race against time to claim his destiny.

“Arenas” is produced by Eve Robin and Judith Lou Lévy for Les Films du Bal, the ambitious independent company behind Mati Diop’s Cannes prizewinner “Atlantics,” “Ahed’s Knee” by Nadav Lapid and the sci-fi film “Planet B” by Aude-Léa Rapin. The Jokers Films (“Parasite”) will handle French distribution. Other co-production partners include Canal+ and the Region Auvergne Rhônes Alpes.

Perton says she’s “been passionate about soccer since (she) was a child” and “went behind the scenes of this opaque environment” to write the film.

“I met journalists, agents and young players ready to sacrifice everything to realize their dream. I discovered a world based on money, intermediaries, backstabbing and pressure tactics that play out in the antechamber of clubs, where mere fans can never look,” the director said, adding that she envisions “Arenas” to be a “tense, dark, exciting and inevitably political film, where cultures, languages and social classes intersect.”

Memento International described Perton as “a powerful new female voice in the French cinema landscape” and said “Arenas” is “an intense thriller set behind the scenes of the football business, a world with its own rules where all dirty tricks are allowed, much like in all the great mafia movies.”

“We have been completely seduced by the script and characters, portrayed by such an exciting international cast,” the banner said.

Perton previously delivered the short “Passez les champs champs” and has collaborated on the artistic direction of several theatrical productions. She also co-wrote “Du Fiol dans les artères,” Pierre Le Gall’s first feature film.

Memento International’s slate also includes “The Empire” by Bruno Dumont, Toronto’s Platform competition title “Sisterhood” by Nora El Hourch, Venice Competition entry “Woman Of…” by Malgorzata Szumowska and “Holiday” by Edoardo Gabbriellini. Ramírez is represented by CAA.

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